It's a lousy book, a dull compendium of Robert B. Parker cliches… including the endless discussions about "men who are men doing what they have to do" and still more bland iterations of the Spenser & Hawk/Jesse Stone & Jenn relationships, only this time played out in the old west (there's even a chapter that ends with a character saying "We'd be fools not to," something Parker manages to put in at least once in every book). What's really tiresome is all the filler talk about how wonderful and invincible gunslinger Virgil Cole is, especially whenVirgil himself keeps saying it. The banter between Virgil and Everett is witless and dull, and feels more like typing than writing. I was a big fan of APPALOOSA and RESOLUTION, the earlier, and much better, books in this series, but this one is an aimless, lazy, clumsy mess…difficult to enjoy even for diehard Parker fans like myself who have stuck by him even as he continues to disappoint.
6 thoughts on “Brimstone”
I am right with you on this one. The first two books (in what I hope will only be a trilogy) were great…this one horrible. I was also bothered at how Virgil Cole was no longer Virgil Cole, but apparantly played by Spenser in this one. Just when I think it is safe to purchase a RBP novel again, I am reminded why I should go to the library first.
Like you, I’m a diehard Parker fan, and I keep reading them, too.
(I just finished Now and Then.)
At least they don’t take long to read!
Don’t you say this with every Parker book? I think the news would be when you find one you like.
I respectfully disagree with your analysis of Robert B. Parker’s BRIMSTONE.
All this reminds me of a critique of Parker’s work Loren Estleman wrote in one of his Amos Walker novels.
Walker has to to out of town and picks up a Spenser book to read in his hotel. He has
Walker muse that the “mystery” wasn’t actualy much of a mystery and that all the lead character does is talk about his ethics and what he won’t do, yet he hangs around with a a contract killer and has no problems with that.
Wait… Is Estleman the pot or the kettle?